NASA 1996 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER : 96-1 06.04-3800

PROJECT TITLE : Haptic Displays for Real-Time Immersive Environments

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Haptic displays are specialized robots configured to provide motion-dependent tactile feedback for interaction with real-time immersive environments. One barrier to more widespread use of haptic displays with real-time, interactive immersive environments is that they require very high update rates. Research indicates that a convincing perception of touch requires update rates in excess of 1000 Hz. Unfortunately, the models underlying complicated immersive environment scenarios in many applications are so computationally intensive that high-rate real-time dynamic simulation using standard methods is prohibited. We propose an innovative haptic display control algorithm that will bridge this gap by implementing impedance control for haptic displays. It is based on object-oriented impedance control software previously developed by Creare combined with a proposed method for identifying position-dependent impedances from an immersive environment model.

During Phase I we will demonstrate the performance gains obtained by an impedance controller for haptic displays. We will show that the proposed haptic display algorithm results in superior tactile sensation and can be used for arbitrarily complicated immersive environment models. In Phase II, we will refine the software and apply it to specific applications and haptic display hardware.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
The proposed computational algorithm will be an enabling technology that will provide the link between non-real-time immersive environment models and real-time haptic displays. This technology will aid in their transition to and use in practical applications such as enhanced ability for human interaction with complex data, models, and representations of distant physical locations; simulated surgery; training for technicians; and training of aircraft and submarine pilots.
NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
Robert J. Kline-Schoder
Creare Incorporated
P.O. Box 71, Etna Road
Hanover, NH 03755
NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR
Creare Incorporated
P.O. Box 71, Etna Road
Hanover, NH 03755